Fort Sam Houston was established in the 1870s, on 40 acres of land acquired
from the City of San Antonio. The fort has been the focal point for military
operations in Texas and most of the Southwest United States since 1879.
The original mission of the troops stationed at Fort Sam Houston was to
pursue an aggressive peacekeeping policy along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In 1886, Geronimo, Chief Natchez, and their band of Apaches were detained
for 40 days in the fort's Quadrangle complex following their surrender
to U.S. Army forces. In 1898 the fort served as a rendezvous for Col.
Leonard Wood and Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt's "Rough Riders," before
their departure for Cuba during the Spanish American War. The fort also
supplied the men and materials for Brig. Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing's
campaign against Pancho Villa in 1916. In addition, Fort Sam Houston saw
the beginnings of the Army Air Corps and the Airborne Infantry. The fort
has expanded greatly over the years and today contains many historic buildings
and properties. Among the most notable are The Quadrangle
(the original fort), consisting of the post's oldest building and a watch
tower; The Pershing House (building #6), an irregularly
shaped two-story house built in 1881 and serving as the Staff Post Commander's
house; and the Artillery Post and Calvary Post Barracks,
large two-and-one-half-story brick barracks built between 1905 and 1908
to house troops stationed at the fort. Fort Sam Houston is still an active
military post and is currently the headquarters of the Fifth Army.
The Quadrangle (above) and Pershing
House (below), Fort Sam Houston
Photos courtesy of Historic
American Buildings Survey, photographer David J. Kaminsky
Fort Sam Houston, a National
Historic Landmark, is located between I-35 and the Harry Wurzbach
Highway. Maps and self-guiding tour information are available at the
Quadrangle at 1400 E. Grayson St. The fort's museum, located at 2310
Stanley Rd., is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm; non-military
visitors must use the Walters Street entrance. For further information,
call 210-221-1886 or visit the museum's website.
Several of the fort's sites have also been documented
by the Historic American Buildings Survey.